How To Clean House Plants: A Handy Guide

When cleaning plants, it is important to do it the right way to ensure that no damage to the plant is done. Here are some of the best ways to clean them.

A common misconception of plant owners is that they should dust their plants when they become dirty. In reality, not only is this an unreliable way of cleaning, it can actually cause scratches to the plant’s leaves. Instead, it is recommended to use water.

Cleaning Plant Leaves

If it’s time for your plants to be cleaned, simply give them a shower. Take care that the temperature of the water is cool, but not freezing cold. If cleaning during cold weather months, a tepid temperature is preferred. Adjust the stream of water coming from the shower head so that it is gentle, rather than forceful.

This method works best with planters that have drain holes so the excess water can drain out. Afterwords, leave the plants in the shower or move them to a bath tub to give them the opportunity to dry off before returning them to their normal locations.

Washing Plants

If a shower isn’t available, plants can be taken outside and washed with a hose. As with the shower, use caution that the water streaming from the hose isn’t too forceful. Also, do not wash them in the hot sun, but pick a shaded area instead. Let them remain outside for awhile before bringing them back inside so they can begin drying.

Sometimes water alone isn’t enough to clean a plant. This would particularly hold true for kitchen plants that have been exposed to grease. In a case like this, some mild soapy water can be used. Afterwords, rinse the plant thoroughly to make sure all of the soapy residue is gone.

House Plant Care

Certain plants, such as the African violet, don’t respond well to showers to being hosed off. An alternative method of cleaning is to take a soft rag, dip it in mild, soapy water and gently wipe the leaves from the leaf bases to their tips.

Support the leaves by placing your other hand underneath each one as you clean it. Use a separate clean, wet rag to remove the soap. Usually, plants only need to be cleaned every few months unless you live in an area that has a high amount of dust particles or if the plants are subjected to grease.

Although many people think that dusting is a good way to clean plants, a much better way is to use water. Watch the temperature and spray of the water and be sure to allow the plant to dry before putting it back in its usual place, particularly if it is placed in an area with sunlight. This way you can have clean plants without any damage occurring to the plant.